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Wikipaintings
March 26, 2012 9:45 PM   Subscribe

Wikipaintings is a fantastic resource, a well curated database of the world's great paintings that will blow your mind. Click the logo in the top left corner for a collection of a random artist's work in chronological order. Their popular artists and popular artworks.

Here is their collection of paintings by style, genre, and technique as well as by artists grouped by art movement, school or group, genre, nationality, century and alphabetically.

"The project aims to create high-quality, most complete and well-structured online repository of fine art. We hope to make classical art a little more accessible and comprehensible, and also want to provide a new form of interaction between contemporary artists and their audience. In the future we plan to cover the entire history of art — from cave artworks to the new talents of today.

The project is non-profit. The site will not contain advertising in any form and its creators do not intend to make profit from the activities or sale of the project. Initial work on the establishment and maintenance of the site is paid from funds of the initiative group, but later we hope to cover the costs through donations from users.
"
posted by Blasdelb (25 comments total) 89 users marked this as a favorite

 
sorry for the lack of witty comment, but this is amazing!
posted by fightoplankton at 10:13 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Off to a good start. The requirement to use Excel spreadsheets is odd and cumbersome, a bottleneck. For the moment, Wikicommons has a bigger database but this is slicker and integrated. Will revisit in a year or two to see if it has become the prime destination in fine art (currently has one Gothic artist), sort of the Flickr of fine art.
posted by stbalbach at 10:16 PM on March 26, 2012


Please someone build a Flickstackr-type UI for this please.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:22 PM on March 26, 2012


Wikimedia commons
posted by Blasdelb at 10:24 PM on March 26, 2012


Turns out I like Gerhard Richter.
posted by frenetic at 10:58 PM on March 26, 2012


This is fun and full of great eye-food, useful and/or a time-sink... but surprised I couldn't find any Louis Wain.
posted by not_on_display at 11:13 PM on March 26, 2012


I like how the same moustachioed dude shows up again and again in John Singer Sargent's nudes. Misteress, I wonder?
posted by kavasa at 11:13 PM on March 26, 2012


Oh hey, I just stumbled over a painting I'd seen once, when I was much younger, maybe in someone's coffee-table book. I'd loved the painting, but had long, long since forgotten about it (this). Thanks!
posted by not_on_display at 11:21 PM on March 26, 2012


This is great. I had written up a long response detailing why I think it's so great, my browser crashed and I'm seeing it as the hand of god or some such, no way I'm going to re-write it, probably I'd get struck with polio or something.

Suffice to say it's great. Artist's I thought there'd be no way I'd see, and there they were, bigger than Dallas. A great resource.

Great find, OP.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:59 PM on March 26, 2012


awesome, thanks.
posted by oxidizer at 12:27 AM on March 27, 2012


This is really good. Thank you for share.
posted by Shadow53TR at 2:20 AM on March 27, 2012


This is really neat!
posted by carter at 3:14 AM on March 27, 2012


Sometimes I really love the internet. Thanks for the link.
posted by numberstation at 3:40 AM on March 27, 2012


This looks promising. Hopefully it can eventually displace Artchive and Artcyclopedia from all Google searches forever.
posted by oulipian at 3:51 AM on March 27, 2012


This is really cool. Sometimes I forget how selective my experience has been with certain artists' work, I really dig the timeline feature. I'm having some trouble with the navigation though. How do you scroll down to read the rest of the painting description when you are full screen mode?
posted by Think_Long at 7:04 AM on March 27, 2012


> This looks promising.

Yes, but I hope they expand their coverage; right now "the world" pretty much equals Europe and America. Here's the list by "nationality":

American (48)
Armenian (3)
Austrian (7)
Belarusian (2)
Belgian (3)
British (24)
Chinese (1)
Czech (2)
Danish (1)
Dutch (18)
Flemish (11)
French (76)
Georgian (1)
German (22)
Greek (3)
Hungarian (1)
Italian (49)
Japanese (7)
Jewish (8)
Lithuanian (2)
Mexican (5)
Norwegian (2)
Polish (6)
Romanian (1)
Russian (66)
Spanish (12)
Swiss (4)
Ukrainian (12)

I put "nationality" in quotes because: Jewish?!
posted by languagehat at 7:13 AM on March 27, 2012


I really hope they can make this more amazing: Expand the artist lists, start adding high-resolution images.
Right now there are no Canadian artists, and only a single Chinese one....

I have high expectations for digitizing art books and moving from that format in to the digital age. Between this, Google Art Project, and others, the ideas are coming tragically slow and piecemeal.
posted by Theta States at 7:14 AM on March 27, 2012


I really hope they can make this more amazing

Isn't the "they" here really "we"? I mean, it's presumably called a "wiki" for a reason.
posted by yoink at 7:49 AM on March 27, 2012


Great find, thank you Blasdelb.

Lots to like here. Pictures, of course, but also small touches like the filenames being the picture titles (rather than 00ksdklfj_seka6876io124.jpg like way too many sites) so that you only have to prepend-by-pasting the artist name when you download and you've easily preserved both What and By Whom, and they all alphabetize together in your initial d/l directory.

I see wiki editing by the public is not live yet, though you can request an invitation for whenever that's ready. So for the present I'd just like to suggest 1. some wikimedia-like indication of file size, so we know which ones are postcards and not worth bothering with; and 2. dump every last trace of scripting into a black hole and backfill over it with a bulldozer. Wikimedia's image-viewing UI is much simpler and better, by which I mean fewer clicks to the biggest version. (Though this site isn't as bad as the infuriating Google Art Project.)
posted by jfuller at 10:23 AM on March 27, 2012


Huh. I'm the R&R person for my museum, so of course I checked on one of our bigger-name works, and of course they have a crappy version up where the green wall has turned into a gross yellow color.
posted by PussKillian at 11:48 AM on March 27, 2012


> of course they have a crappy version up where the green wall has turned into a gross yellow color.

As a rabid, compulsive downloader of graphics of all kinds I expect a certain list of gotchas that bite and bite and bite--too small, scanned from a book (with halftone dots), nice big file that turns out to be a fuzzy up-rezzed small file (looking at you lately, artrenewal), and so on. Wrong color balance is absolutely the most deceptive of these and hardest to spot in electronic copies unless it's something you've seen for real and know well. For that reason, if it's something I like I tend to grab any copy of it I stumble across even if I already have a good big sharp version, just in case it turns out the high-quality scan/photo got the colors shifted. (Also I'm lucky that it was already my predisposition to prefer drawings to flashy finished paintings. Fewer color problems if it was pencil or charcoal or sepia ink originally. In those cases size and sharpness are pretty much the whole battle.)

PS, Ahem *koff koff*. If your institution has the original of whatever you're thinking of, it's in the best possible position to put a big, sharp e-copy (including color-correction bars, please and thank you) out there and preempt the crap ones.
posted by jfuller at 12:36 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks so much for posting this. I really like their Northern Renaissance section.
posted by mekko at 1:53 PM on March 27, 2012


How do you scroll down to read the rest of the painting description when you are full screen mode?

From full-screen you should be able to click "Show Details" or "Artwork Page" in the upper left. The menu stays hidden until the mouse goes to the top of the window.
posted by polecat at 3:16 PM on March 27, 2012


Hamburger
posted by sneebler at 5:16 PM on March 27, 2012


If your institution has the original of whatever you're thinking of, it's in the best possible position to put a big, sharp e-copy (including color-correction bars, please and thank you) out there and preempt the crap ones.


When we get to the point where institutions are permitting Google Art Project quality high-res versions of their collection online, then I will cheer.
Same for artist estates. There is a very fickle issue of rights in regards to many works...

What I REALLY hope is that living artists will start building an online catalogue raissone in an archive like this.
posted by Theta States at 6:28 AM on March 28, 2012


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